Ginga's new gig in Tasmania
Reunions pop up in the most unusual of places.
Just recently prominent Otago-based harness racing identity Lex Williams had a notable, but not totally unexpected one, in Hobart.
He'd heard through the grapevine that one of his former horses One Yankee Ginga was being used to "cart" tourists around the Tasmanian capital.
ln January Williams just happened to be on holiday there and saw the horse downtown.
"He looked great - he was with another horse and they were taking six people on a tour of the inner city."
Williams gave him a pat and was curious to know if the now 10-year-old gelding would recognise him.
"He definitely recognised me, not for a start, but I said a few words to him like I always do with my horses and he shot his head up and nestled right into me," says Williams, "he recognised my voice."
"It was pretty touching."
Named HNRZ Breeder of the Year in 2022, Williams has bred over 100 horses in the past 20 years.
He has also been associated with some real superstars including One Over Kenny. He bought her from the sales for just $20,00 and the horse went on to win 32 races, including the Rowe Cup twice, and over a million dollars.
One Yankee Ginga didn't produce any such heroics on the racetrack here. He had two wins in 22 starts in this country, at the Waikouaiti meeting in February 2017 and at Addington in July 2018. On both occasions he was trained and driven by Robbie Holmes.
After being exported to Australia in 2018, he won 11 races across the Tasman. He started off in Victoria and then went to Tasmania in 2019, where at one stage he won five races in a row at Launceston and Elwick. He was retired in 2021.
"It's just so good to see him having a great life after racing, and that he's being looked after properly," says Williams.